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Kirin Fruit Versus Dragon Fruit: The Lowdown on Pitahayas

Kirin Fruit Versus Dragon Fruit: The Lowdown on Pitahayas

posted: 2018-12-13 16:40:00 +0800

Kirin fruit, the yellow skin fruit with some resemblance to a dragon fruit, has risen to stardom in recent years. This exotic fruit has received a lot of attention in the media and is labelled as the magical fruit with numerous health benefits. With an appearance similar to a dragon fruit, are there differences between the two?

We commonly refer to the two varieties of red-skinned fruits as dragon fruit, but formally speaking, the kirin fruit is merely another type of dragon fruit. In fact, pitahaya is the collective term describing all three varieties of dragon fruits. Indigenous to Central and South America, pitahayas are edible fruits grown on Hylocereus, a type of cactus species. Because they grow and thrive in arid climates, they are now widely cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world. The distinctive differences in appearance, colour and taste between the types of pitahaya come down to the type of species.

Despite the variations in appearance amongst the three species of pitahayas, they all have an incredibly juicy flesh with an earthy watermelon taste, black edible seeds, and a kiwi-like texture.

Common name / Characteristics White dragon fruit Red dragon fruit Kirin fruit
Species name Hylocereus undatus Hylocereus costaricensis Hylocereus megalanthus
Cultivating countries China
Israel
Thailand
Vietnam
United States
China
Israel
Malaysia
Thailand
Nicaragua
Vietnam
United States
Colombia
Ecuador
Israel
Appearance Red outer skin; White flesh with black seeds Red outer skin; Red flesh with black seeds Yellow outer skin; white flesh with black seeds
Sweetness Least sweet of all pitahayas Sweeter than white dragon fruit Sweetest of all pitahayas

Why include pitahayas as part of your diet?

All varieties of pitahayas offer the same health benefits, including:

• Dietary fibre

  • Helps with maintaining a healthy gut, increases stool transit time and prevents constipation
  • Manages your blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates
  • Soluble fibre, in particular, binds with cholesterol and fat in your diet and gets rid of them through the stools

• Magnesium

  • An essential mineral for muscles, nerves and bones

• Phosphorus

  • An important nutrient that supports growth, plays a role in storing and using energy and works alongside with calcium for building healthy bones and teeth

• Potassium

  • A vital mineral for regulating blood pressure, and maintaining electrolyte balance and cell function

• Vitamin C

  • An important nutrient for the immune system, for making collagen to promote skin elasticity and to prevent wrinkles, and for promoting wound healing While pitahayas provide the feeling of fullness and are beneficial to include as part of a diet to maintain a healthy body weight, eating too much may give a laxative effect.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size Per 100 grams
Calories (kcal) 56
Fat (g) 1.4
Saturated Fat (g) 0.13
Trans Fat (g) N/A
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 9.6
Dietary Fibre (g) 1.7
Sugars (g) 7.6
Protein (g) 1.1
Calcium (mg) 5.8
Iron (mg) 0
Magnesium (mg) 32
Manganese (mg) 0
Phosphorus (mg) 31
Potassium (mg) 270
Sodium (mg) 0
Zinc (mg) 0
Vitamin C (mg) 9

Source: Centre for Food Safety, 2017.

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This is a Hong Kong GGB original 'Kirin Fruit Versus Dragon Fruit: The Lowdown on Pitahayas' blogpost.
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blog written by: # Novella Lui (8)
Novella Lui, Editor

Based in Canada and Hong Kong, Novella is a registered dietitian, a bilingual writer, a globetrotter and a foodie. She believes in building healthy relationships with food is key to optimal health and happiness.     > more...


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